Red-shifted light-harvesting system of freshwater eukaryotic alga Trachydiscus minutus (Eustigmatophyta, Stramenopila)
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Survival of phototrophic organisms depends on their ability to collect and convert enough light energy to support their metabolism. Phototrophs can extend their absorption cross section by using diverse pigments and by tuning the properties of these pigments via pigment–pigment and pigment–protein interaction. It is well known that some cyanobacteria can grow in heavily shaded habitats by utilizing far-red light harvested with far-red-absorbing chlorophylls d and f. We describe a red-shifted light-harvesting system based on chlorophyll a from a freshwater eustigmatophyte alga Trachydiscus minutus (Eustigmatophyceae, Goniochloridales). A comprehensive characterization of the photosynthetic apparatus of T. minutus is presented. We show that thylakoid membranes of T. minutus contain light-harvesting complexes of several sizes differing in the relative amount of far-red chlorophyll a forms absorbing around 700 nm. The pigment arrangement of the major red-shifted light-harvesting complex is similar to that of the red-shifted antenna of a marine alveolate alga Chromera velia. Evolutionary aspects of the algal far-red light-harvesting complexes are discussed. The presence of these antennas in eustigmatophyte algae opens up new ways to modify organisms of this promising group for effective use of far-red light in mass cultures.
KeywordsLight-harvesting protein Violaxanthin Eustigmatophyta Red-shifted LHC Oligomeric LHC Chromatic acclimation
This research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation under the Grant Numbers 19-28323X (Radek Litvín, David Bína) and GA15-22000S (Martin Trtílek), by institutional support RVO:60077344, Project LO1416 Algatech plus of the programme NPU I (Marek Pazderník, Eva Kotabová, Ondřej Prášil), and European Regional Development Fund (No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000441, Zdenko Gardian). Skilled technical assistance of Ivana Hunalová and František Matoušek is gratefully acknowledged.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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